I've come to realize that I'm now a much different mother than I was before losing Hailey. That may sound kind of obvious, but I'm different in many ways. A little broken, for one, but more importantly, I think I've become a better mom.
I'm definitely much more compassionate and loving toward my girls. I've become much more in tune with Lexi, especially, and how she's feeling. I'm not much of a huggy, cuddly kind of person, but lately, I've been that way with Lexi. I've become quite attached to her...sometimes I feel like she's one of my best friends! (I don't really tell her that because I still need to be mom, but I just feel it in my heart.) I also crave to be around my girls and just hear them laugh or watch them sleep, which before I would jump at the chance for a break! I'm also a lot more patient with them...which for me, is huge!
Now don't get me wrong, I'm still a typical mom too. I still get frustrated and impatient at times. I still need a break every once in a while. I still want to rip my hair out now and then! But, I've also learned to enjoy my kids. That's what I wanted to share today.
I've always been the kind of mom who just wants to get down to business and get things done. I like things neat, clean, and organized. I don't like loudness or chaos. Often times I'd say no to Lexi when she'd want to paint or do arts and crafts because I didn't feel like having to clean up the mess. Or I wouldn't want to go somewhere because it was a pain to get everything together, get the kids in the car, get the kids out of the car, etc. I would get really stressed out and anxious if I would see my girls getting their clothes dirty or tracking dirt into the house. At bath time, I just wanted the kids in and out...bath toys, bubbles, etc., just made an unnecessary mess when I was trying to make things clean! So basically, I was an anxious, uptight, you know what, kind of mom!!! Okay, now I really made myself sound bad.
Anyways, I've come to realize that all that stuff seriously doesn't matter all that much. I do still like my house clean and things picked up and organized, however, I've come to realize that it is possible to clean up after a mess (and some fun!). I've come to realize that life can be short, way shorter than expected sometimes, so I need to chill out, relax, and just enjoy my beau'ful girls. I've come to realize that I'm much happier too, when I just sit back and watch life through their eyes. Not to mention, the fun they get to have just being kids.
So let me give you some examples of this big change in myself!! First off, let me just say, that some of you may read these things and be wondering what the big deal is, but let me just say that these are huge changes for me!!! So here goes: (Oh, and I even have pictures to prove it!)
- I was at a friend's house and let Ava crawl around in the mud by a stream that runs in front of her house. She was absolutely filthy and enjoyed every single second of it!!! (As for me, I was so proud of myself and found that I actually enjoyed watching her enjoy herself!) Oh and guess what, I was actually able to wash her clothes...whoo hoo...can you sense my sarcasm at myself.
And to think I would have missed out on this!
(Just kidding, but it did wash out!)
- I didn't freak out when Lexi caught a lizard in our backyard! I even considered letting her keep it, but after researching how much money it would cost for all the supplies needed to take care of it, I decided it was better off in nature. I got a cute picture, though, before letting it go.
- I let Ava play with a bowl of pudding and even put her whole face in it. Normally I would have insisted on feeding her myself, but decided to give in to her strong will attempt to do it herself. And of course, she thoroughly enjoyed it, almost as much as I enjoyed taking this picture!
- Bath time has become fun bubble time and I even let them splash sometimes!! Go me! :)
- I've spent many afternoons laying on the trampoline in our backyard with Lexi just chatting or coloring.
- We went and bought some fruit and vegetable plants and planted them together...something that would have been too dirty before.
- On Easter we went back in the canyon by our house and found some tadpoles. (There aren't many of those in Cali.) We caught some, came home and read on the internet how to take care of them and made a little home for them. Nope, wouldn't have even considered that before.
- I try to say "Yes," as often as I can. I often stop and think about the reason I want to say no, if it's because I want to be lazy or just don't "feel like it," I stop myself and reconsider.
- Today we spent the afternoon playing with bubbles, and getting all wet and soapy...something I would never have had the patience for before.
So those are just a few of the things that I gave up some control over. And honestly, I am so glad I did. I don't know why I was so uptight about that kind of stuff before and I do still have to remind myself every once in a while to chill out and just ENJOY. I came to the realization today that most of our children will never be taken from us as early as Hailey was, thank goodness, however they will all grow up. So, we still need to take the time to slow down and just have fun with them. This is something I'm working on everyday in honor of my little Hailey.
Thank you Hailey, for teaching me that valuable lesson. Your sisters will greatly appreciate it when they are older. I love and miss you baby girl.